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On top of the world

Dec. 20, 2010 at 6:20 a.m.


Birds have a great view for leaf-peeping, or seeing the richly toned autumn leaves as the seasons change.

Soaring through the treetops to take in this majestic beauty is precisely what Cypress Valley Canopy Tours had in mind when it opened in 2005.

This exhilarating zip line adventure takes you through the heart of Texas Hill Country, outside Austin, negotiating the creek ravines and cypress trees with certified climbing and technical gear.

With three tours to choose from, each with varying degrees of difficulty, family members over the age of 10 may enjoy the lofty views from the zip lines and sky bridges.

This outdoor retreat also offers many opportunities to spot native creatures to the area, from birds such as yellow-billed cuckoos and the downy woodpecker, to land animals like white tail deer and raccoons.

If you're looking for a romantic overnight stay in the cypress canopy, a room for two, the Lofthaven, is tucked away in the trees among the wildlife and waterfalls of the valley. With a queen-size bed and an air mattress also available, families of up to four can zip in and stay at the small woodland suite.

Hoping to inspire a love for the outdoors and an eco-conscious way of life, owners David and Amy Beilharz began developing the area in 1998, moving from a busy west Austin neighborhood to the bountiful Cypress Valley.

Emboldened by his own zip-line experience in Costa Rica, David said the doorway was opened. They've been working to share their wooded paradise with the world.

Whether it is a family expedition, romantic getaway or corporate outing, Cypress Valley Canopy Tours guarantees a thrilling ride.

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